Hey, don't I feel like a big boy blogger! Lisa meme'd me. So, tag, I'm it.
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
The nearest book: King Lear, Signet Classic edition and counting sentences rather than lines,we end up with:
Lear: Then let them anatomize Regan. See what breeds about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that make these hard hearts?
But why stop there? I'm in the mood for a meme extravaganza. So I pick up the book right beneath King Lear, which is The Samurai, by Shusaku Endo:
Velasco and the three envoys knew that they were still a great distance from the site of the Indian revolt. Hills spattered with white boulders, patches of earth baked and cracked by the sun, river beds where withered trees lay like bleached bones -- once they left these parched landscapes behind, fields of corn appeared, blanketed with a layer of dust. None of these scenes resembled the soft, gentle landscapes of Japan.
I'm stopping right there with that pile and turning to the one on the righthand side of my computer, and I realize why my house is always such a mess, for there on the top is the libretto booklet for The Rake's Progress (Igor Stravinsky Edition), which I carefully placed there back in October, before posting about SF Opera's production. Page 123 has the French translation of Baba and Anne meeting up at the auction. Line counts are a little approximate here, what with the line breaks and the stage directions:
Anne (se retournant): Sa femme!
Baba: Son jouet --
Qu'importe a present. Viens mon enfant, ma fille.
And once again, why stop there? Here's the meme for the book I'm officially reading right now, the David Cairns translation of The Memoirs of Hector Berlioz:
At last I heard of a Sardinian brig that was on the point of sailing for Leghorn. Some pleasant-looking young men whom I met in the Cannebiere told me they had booked passages on her, and suggested we mess together. The captain would not undertake to feed us, so it was up to us to make our own arrangements.
And here's my "in case it's quiet enough on BART ever again to read" book, Paradise Lost, and I'm going to count lines rather than sentences here:
But say I could repent and could obtain
By Act of Grace my former state; how soon
Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay. . .
And from the latest book I've bought (which means I'll get around to reading it in about ten years), Worshipping Walt: The Whitman Disciples by Michael Robertson:
The final visit occurred in December 1891. On the twenty-first Bucke received an urgent telegram from Traubel; less than forty-eight hours later he was entering the ramshackle Mickle Street house. "Maurice Bucke, Maurice Bucke, Maurice Bucke," Whitman had said from his bed, "how glad I am to see you, how glad I am."
Wow. Enjoy all the found poetry. And I did try to pop it up a bit by looking for a nearby copy of Entertainment Weekly or Men's Health or something, but I couldn't find one that both reached 123 pages and didn't have pictures on that page, not that I searched all that strenuously. It's odd how taking a random passage can highlight the strange process of submersion in a book's style. About a year ago my mother picked up Volume 3 of my Everyman edition of Clarissa and read a passage out loud, and it sounded archaically eighteenth-century in a way that it hadn't after reading over a thousand pages in the same style.
Now I'm supposed to tag five people. Hmm. I hate to lay that sort of obligation on people. I will tag Vicki and Marin, and CMB can leave his in the comments section if he wants since he doesn't have a blog, and you can too, if you care to.